Mladen and Del review ‘Transformers’

“Transformers” Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, John Voight, John Turturro. Directed by Michael Bay. 144 minutes. Rated PG.

Mladen’s take

It’s becoming a habit, one I must shed, or, before I know it, it’ll end with me finding something redeeming about the Bush administration.

“Transformers” is another movie — “Bug” falls into the same category — that does one brief thing right: forcing me to temper an otherwise bitter review that’s based on the dozens of things that went wrong.

The film’s nearly saving grace happens toward the end.

Bad-bot Megatron, sprawled on a crushed roadway after falling from a skyscraper during battle with good-bot Optimus Prime, finds itself near a human.

The four-story-tall robot utters, “Disgusting” and, using its index finger, flicks the human dozens of feet into a car.

Hilarious, because that’s the way I feel about humanity.

It’s too bad my index finger isn’t large enough to flick a grown man through the air. Then again, I’d have to use the finger ceaselessly for years to flick everybody that needs flicking.

“Transformers” is visually glorious crap. The movie is a vast advertisement for toys, GM vehicles that never get dirty and the Air Force. See it for no other reason than this: It’s cheaper now that it can be rented on DVD than when it was in theaters.

Del’s take

You’ll have to forgive Mladen. A big walrus of a guy flicked him off and he’s still hanging from a branch by the waistband of his Hanes.

It’s cut off the circulation to his brain.

Of course “Transformers” is crap, Mladen. Were you expecting “Anna Karenina”?

I too was expecting to hate “Transformers,” for the following reasons:

It was directed by Michael Bay, who managed to turn Pearl Harbor into a thrill ride at Universal.

And I could never keep track of who’s who: Is Vomitor a good robot or a bad robot?

Finally, if nature called at 3 in the morning and, on your way to the bathroom, you stepped on one of the approximately 10,000 pieces of Transformer toys left on the floor by your nephews, well, you can forget making it to the toilet.

But I was pleasantly surprised by “Transformers.” It’s a fun story told in a fun way.

The pace is fast, the dialogue snappy, the special effects mind-blowing and it never, ever takes itself seriously.

Casting Shia LaBeouf in the lead role was smart – his Ritalin-deprived approach plays nicely with the movie’s other parts. And Megan Fox is sufficiently sexy to compel LaBeouf’s romantic fantasies – clumsily adolescent fantasies – without posing any serious threat to what I’m assuming is his virginity.

If you accept “Transformers” for what it is – a bit of innocent fun that requires 144 minutes of your life – you won’t be disappointed.

Now, somebody help Mladen down from that tree.

Mladen Rudman is a former journalist and technical editor. Del Stone Jr. is a journalist and author.